Les étranges traditions de Noël européennes
Christmas in Europe is fucken strange
As if a fat bloke from the North Pole flying around the whole world using reindeers for power and sliding down your chimney to give you presents — all in one night — isn’t downright bizarre.
(On that, Rudolph’s nose isn’t really going to illuminate much, is it? It’s not like it’s a spotlight, but more of a beacon. I’d say Rudolph’s nose would be handy in fog to ensure that no other flying sleighs slam into you, but that’s about it.)
Catalunya Loves Christmas Poop
Stoke Towers are located in Barcelona, the capital of Catalunya. The Christmas traditions here are scatalogical, from Tio Caga (Uncle Shit) to the little shitting boys that feature alongside Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus in that there manger.
Tio Caga is a log with a face and a little Christmas hat, and you beat him with a stick until he literally poops out presents. It’s their main Christmas tradition. No shit.
Meanwhile in Basque Country
Not to be outdone, on the other side of Spain in the Basque Country they have their own take on Santa Claus. Olentzero is a coal stained drunk who comes stumbling down from the mountains to give out presents and leer at your mum, presumably.
Da fuck is wong with Austria? From birthing dictators to creating an environment where Frtizl could do his horrendous work, Austria comes across a little whack, and Christmas is no different. In an Austrian Christmas the kids are tormented by Krampus, a vile demon-beast who in no way shape or form does anything but terrify the living shit out of children and adults alike.
While in France Santa’s helper carries a whip, and will beat the piss out of you if you’ve been bad, and in over in Italy a wine-drinking witch is responsible for handing out your presents, which would consist of pasta, broomsticks, chianti and potions, we presume.
And in Wales Mari Lwyd is a horse’s skull that is paraded around town on the end of a pole, going from door to door, engaging pubs and households in rap battles, or the local cultural equivalent.
But the weirdest of all, due to it being completely antiquated, is the tradition of Zvart (Black) Pete in the Low Countries (the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium). This blackface character accompanies their Santa and is responsible for stealing bad kids and taking them to Madrid (from Holland to Spain? Big fucken punishment…). Black Pete has come under criticism lately because black face is pretty much uncool everywhere, no matter how traditional it is. Sometimes it’s time to let insensitive old traditions go, you freaky deaky Dutchies.
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